After I graduated high school, I decided I wanted to get my first job and start making some money. I wasn’t sold on the whole college thing yet, so being a nanny seemed to be the best option.
I would say I was prepared for what nannying would throw my way, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there weren’t a few surprises along the way!
You Will Love Your Nanny Kid
Wow! When I started nannying, I thought there would be a very defined line between work and home life. There isn’t. Not only do a lot of nannies live or spend most of their time with their nanny families, but, after taking care of a child for a few weeks, nannies really start to develop a connection with their NK. I would take a bullet for my NK and I know so many other nannies who would do the same for theirs.
Your Unicorn Family
A lot of nannies leave their profession for good when they work for too many bad families in a row. Finding a good nanny family is difficult because everyone puts on their best face for the interview. The truth comes out in the first month, if not in the first two weeks!
Right now, the family that I’m working for is magnificent. They pay me a fair rate, work with my schedule, and genuinely care about my life. We’ve grown pretty close over the past (almost) 6 months and I know when I have to leave it’s going to be really difficult. This is a family I would stay with forever if I could. So, as hard as it is to find your perfect, unicorn family, they are definitely out there.
Part of the Family
When you spend almost every single day with a family, you get to know them really well and they get to know you. Most families I’ve worked for have made a genuine effort to get to know me and make me feel as comfortable as possible. I’ve done the same for them in return! This varies from family to family. Some families may even treat their nannies like “the help”, rather than as an equal.
Leaving Your Nanny Kid
I’ve nannied for four families total and leaving was brutal every time. It’s incredibly difficult to watch a child grow up day-by-day, sticking with them through the good, the bad, and the straight-out hot mess, only to leave in the end.
It’s All on Your Shoulders
As an eighteen year old nanny, I was very overwhelmed when I got my first job and began to see how much work it really was. It’s not just the physical work of chasing and picking up children, but the emotional work that sucks you dry! You feel like you have to be “on” the whole day…and that’s because you do!
Kids get themselves into predicaments (all sorts) and it’s a nanny’s job to keep them safe and out of trouble while the parents are gone. It sounds easy until you’ve been around a toddler all day and get the full view of how much mischief they are capable of.
You’d be amazed at how quickly kiddos can get themselves into messes! I was throwing a diaper away one time and when I turned around, my NK had run into the bathroom and stuck his hand in the toilet before I could grab him and pull him away!
It Changes Your Parenting Plans
I remember wanting to have kids even when I was very young. It took about 2 years of nannying for me to see what situations are best for kids.
Nannies tend to figure out the best age to have kids, how much money it takes, the best products to use, and techniques to try. Plus, they’ve already done the trial-and-error thing about a million times.
You’ll Want Kids More and Less
Being around kids all the time can be really heart-warming. At other times, it can be a disaster- plain and simple! The good days definitely get your heart yearning for your own babies, but I’ve also left work swearing I’d never have kids of my own. If you’re a nanny, I bet you feel me on this.
100% Job Satisfaction- Guaranteed!
My boyfriend tells me all the time how lucky I am to have a job I like. Wait, no. LOVE! I love going to work every day. Much of the job’s satisfaction comes from having an appreciative and caring family, a decent schedule, and generally good nanny kids (we all know there are nightmare kids out there).
I don’t know what the most satisfied sector of employees is, but I would wager that nannies are pretty high up on the list. You wouldn’t be a nanny if it were something you hated.
In one of my nannying groups on Facebook, someone created a poll asking all of the nannies to vote what their personality type was.
Introverts won, hands down, which makes a lot of sense, actually. I’m sure a lot of you are thinking, “how does that work? They’re literally with people all day.” This is only partly true. I don’t feel these kids are as mentally demanding in conversations as adults are.
Additionally, a lot of nannies feel they can be their fun selves around their NKs. Yes, introverts can be playful, despite what you’ve been told!
All the Life Lessons
Nannying has taught me more life lessons than anything else has, except art, of course. I feel I have learned unconditional love, how to handle conflict, how to push through on the toughest days, how to work hard, and how to remain playful and happy.
I have also learned how complex child development is. Most of all, I learned surprises are everywhere. I’m really thankful for all the surprises nannying has brought my way over the past two years and can’t wait for many, many more!